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Spain to host Desertification and Drought Day 2022

Drought, with a focus on early action to prevent disastrous outcomes, is the theme of the Desertification and Drought Day marked on 17 June 2022. The global observance of the event will take place in Madrid, Spain, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has announced. Announcing the theme of 2022 Desertification and Drought Day “Rising up from drought together”, Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “Droughts have been part of human and natural systems, but what we are experiencing now is much worse, largely due to human activity. Recent droughts point at a precarious future for the world. Food and water shortages as well as wildfires caused by the severe drought have all intensified in recent years.” Between 1900 and 2019, droughts impacted 2.7 billion people in the world, and caused 11.7 million deaths. Currently, forecasts estimate that by 2050 droughts may affect over three-quarters of the world’s population. “Spain is honoured to be hosting this year’s Desertification and Drought Day that puts the global spotlight on the urgent issue of drought. Drought is not just the absence of rain; it is often fueled by land degradation and climate change. Together, we can overcome its devastating effects on people and nature around the world and start preparing now to drought-proof our future,” said Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge. The latest scientific assessments projecting more frequent and more severe droughts in the future and evidence of their increasing impacts has prompted governments to focus on more robust and predictable international commitment and action. Since 2017, the UNCCD and its partners supported about 70 drought-prone countries to develop national action plans to reduce drought disasters. Among the top priorities of the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNCCD (COP15) taking place from 9-20 May 2022 Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Parties will  discuss on  the way forward for drought preparedness and resilience globally. Officially declared by the UN General Assembly in 1997 (Resolution A/RES/49/115), the annual Desertification and Drought Day has three objectives. First, to promote public awareness about desertification and drought. Second, to let people know that desertification and drought can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and cooperation at all levels. Lastly, to strengthen implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.  Download campaign assets here. Share your DDDay event with us by sending a brief one paragraph description with an event photo or a poster to communications@unccd.int For more information about Desertification and Drought Day 2022, visit: https://www.unccd.int/events/desertification-drought-day or contact: Xenya Scanlon, UNCCD Chief of Communications Email: xscanlon@unccd.int

Spain to host Desertification and Drought Day 2022
Portrait of the week: Zhai Mo

Renowned explorer and environmentalist Zhai Mo set sail on 30 June to journey around the Arctic Ocean and raise awareness on the links between climate change and land degradation. The journey that has been made possible for the first time in human history due to global warming and the melting of Arctic ice caps is a momentous opportunity to call the world's attention to the impact that human activities have on the environment – particularly the Arctic, which is the second largest polar desert in the world after Antarctica. Zhai Mo was recently named “UNCCD Supporter – Arctic Adventurer for 2021 Desertification and Drought Day.” Captain Zhai Mo will travel from Shanghai across the East Sea, the Western Pacific, the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea, the Kerala Sea, the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Greenland Sea, the Davis Strait, the Gulf of Baffin and the Bofert Sea to complete a journey of more than 18,000 nautical miles in about 128 days.  Zhai Mo is the Ambassador of China's Maritime Science and Technology, National Marine Public Interest Image Ambassador, recipient of the Zheng He Marine Special Contribution Award, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Chinese Society of Navigation. In2015, he completed the "Re-Walking the Maritime Silk Road." We will follow his Arctic expedition with frequent updates. Stay tuned!

Portrait of the week: Zhai Mo
2021 Desertification and Drought Day theme announced

This year's Desertification and Drought Day theme has been announced. "Land restoration can contribute greatly to post-COVID19 economic recovery. Investing in land restoration creates jobs and generates economic benefits, and could provide livelihoods at a time when hundreds of millions of jobs are being lost," says UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw. Check our the event page and see how you can support the campaign. Let's build back better with healthy land! Read more: Role of land in COVID19 response 17 June: Desertification and Drought Day

2021 Desertification and Drought Day theme announced